Successful treatment of thyroid cancer is more likely when the patient is diagnosed early. Unfortunately, the disease often has few signs or symptoms and they vary from person to person.
If you do have signs or symptoms of thyroid cancer, they may include:
- A lump or nodule in the front of the neck
- Enlargement of the thyroid or swelling in the neck
- Pain in the front of the neck that may stretch to the ears
- Change in voice or hoarseness
- Breathing problems, especially the feeling that you are breathing through a straw
- A cough that does not go away and is not caused by a cold
- A cough with blood
- Swallowing problems.
These symptoms do not always mean you have cancer. However, it is important to discuss any signs or symptoms with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.
Some cases of thyroid cancer can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Learn more about the risk to you and your family on our genetic testing page.
MD Anderson patients have access to clinical trials offering promising new treatments that cannot be found anywhere else.